Black and white cat lying on beige carpet looking at camera

'A perfect match'

Homeless cat Bella found the warm home and affection she craved, while giving her new owner much-needed companionship...

Having a cat makes a house a home for Tony Isaacs, like it always has done.

Ever since he was born, the 93-year-old has been used to feline company – including his Blue Cross rescue cat Tilly, who was at his side for more than 17 years before passing away suddenly just before last Christmas.

Feeling lost and lonely without his beloved cat to greet him each morning, Tony once again contacted our Hertfordshire rehoming centre in the hope of welcoming another pet into his life.

“I couldn’t remember a time that I haven’t had a cat,” Tony, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, says.  

Elderly man in red jumper sits on armchair smiling and stroking black and white cat on the head
Tony was missing the company of a cat

As a child from an animal-loving family, he and his late sister Betty were surrounded by cats and even rabbits.  

Throughout their lives, the siblings continued to keep pets and together adopted Tilly, then aged two, in 2006.

So, saying goodbye to 19-year-old Tilly last year, around 10 years after losing Betty, was a "horrid” time for Tony. And, for two months, he struggled to adjust to life without a cat.

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Bella had arrived at Blue Cross. Well-loved and cared for, a change in circumstances meant that her previous owner had to make the difficult decision to give her up.

Black and white cat Bella walks across cream carpet towards camera
Bella had found herself at Blue Cross in need of a new home

Billie Craig, Assistant Manager at our Hertfordshire centre in Kimpton, says: “Tony got in touch with us after losing his cat to find out if he could adopt another one, as he was very lonely.

"He was looking for an affectionate cat that wouldn’t roam too far, but we didn’t have any suitable matches at our centre. So, I contacted other Blue Cross sites to see if there were any suitable cats awaiting a home elsewhere.

“Our Suffolk team then told us about Bella. With a full ownership history, we knew that Bella was a cat that loved human company and had never strayed out of her garden. She was a perfect match.”

Tony was “over the moon” to be given the news, and Bella was soon driven to Hertfordshire for him to collect her.

Man wearing red jumper carrying black and white in a cat bed
Tony was delighted to be matched with sweet Bella

Billie continues: “They haven’t looked back since, and Bella has really changed Tony’s life.”

Tony says that Bella settled into his home straight away and was by his side asking for a fuss from day one – even trying to sneak into his bed for a cuddle on her first morning.

“She just fell into place – it’s quite extraordinary,” Tony, whose career was spent in engineering, says.  

“I like the companionship she brings. She’s terrifically companionable when I’m alone.”

Black and white cat looks at camera as man in red gentlemen tries to get her attention with a fishing rod toy
Tony says Bella has made his house a home again

Age is no barrier to rehoming a pet from Blue Cross, and Tony and Bella’s story is a shining example of why.

Bella desperately needed a roof over her head and a warm lap to curl up on, while the company of a friendly-natured cat like her was exactly what Tony was missing in life.

Billie says: “Elderly people like Tony can often provide pets in need with the ideal home. They tend to be around for most of the day and have more time to devote to a pet.”

And for potential adopters in their senior years concerned that a new pet may outlive them, our Pet Peace of Mind scheme provides peace of mind that they’ll be safely returned to Blue Cross should the worst happen.  

“We’re so pleased we were able to bring Tony and Bella together. They share a wonderful bond and have brought each other happiness,” adds Billie. 

— Page last updated 08/05/2024